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At what age does our intelligence peak?

Einstein once said that you’re smartest before you’re 30, and if you haven’t had major achievements by then, you should probably throw in the towel. But things have changed slightly since then. According to a study analyzing 525 Nobel Prizes given in physics, chemistry and medicine from 1901 to 2008, physicists on average peak closer to […]

Einstein once said that you’re smartest before you’re 30, and if you haven’t had major achievements by then, you should probably throw in the towel.

But things have changed slightly since then. According to a study analyzing 525 Nobel Prizes given in physics, chemistry and medicine from 1901 to 2008, physicists on average peak closer to 48.

But for the rest of us who aren’t necessarily trying to determine what age we’ll win our first Nobel Prize, when can we expect for things to slowly but surely go down hill? Does it have more to do with our IQ or how well we retain information? Is it a matter of how quick we learn or how much experience we have in the world?

Host of  PBS Braincraft Vanessa Hill told The Huffington Post that it’s a variety of things. “Intelligence has lots of definitions and it can be tricky to measure,” she said. “We have different types of intelligence, so we are better at things like problem solving when we’re younger, say in our 20s, and we gain more knowledge and facts about things as we grow older. I think the point where these two types of intelligence meet is in our early thirties. Of course, this age can be different for different people. Sometimes trying to answer questions scientifically raises even more questions!”

Obviously there’s not much we can do about this as far as trying to prevent our inevitable mental decline (that sounds so depressing), but it’s always good to try to keep our minds active, despite our age.

And if you’ve been close to finishing your latest formula or algorithm that could change history, probably try to wrap that up sooner than later.

[Photo from Flickr user Steven Fettig]